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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 2/9/2024, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Big Ten Weekly Men's Basketball Central - Feb. 9-12

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Big Ten. Big News

  • MILESTONE WATCH... Congratulations to Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo who coached his 505th Big Ten Conference game on Tuesday, breaking Bobby Knight’s mark of 504. Izzo is also on a short countdown to coaching his 1,000th career game. With 10 more games on the Michigan State bench, Izzo will become join a club that included just 12 active coaches at the beginning of the season.

  • Five teams earned mention in this week’s AP and USA Today Coaches Polls, announced on Monday. Purdue held steady at No. 2, while Illinois moved up to No. 10 in the AP and 12 in the coaches poll. Wisconsin slipped to No. 11 in the AP list, while the coaches placed the Badgers at No. 9. Michigan State collected votes in both polls, while the coaches also recognized Northwestern.

  • Purdue’s Zach Edey was named Big Ten Player of the Week, presented by Air National Guard, for the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 4. The honor is the third of the season and 10th of his career, tying Ohio State’s Evan Turner (2008-10) for the most Player of the Week honors in a career. The Boilermakers’ big man averaged 24.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and 1.5 assists in leading Purdue with wins over Northwestern and No. 6 Wisconsin. Edey shot 11-14 from the floor and paired 30 points and 15 rebounds, while playing 41 minutes of a 105-96 overtime win over Northwestern. He added 18 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocked shots to lead the Boilermakers to a 75-69 win at Wisconsin in a battle for the top spot in the Big Ten standings.

  • Minnesota’s Cam Christie was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week after scoring15 points, including 10 in the second half, as the Gophers erased a nine-point deficit to top Northwestern 75-66 in overtime. Christie hit a three-pointer with 44 seconds left in regulation to give Minnesota its first lead since the 9:10 mark of the first half. win at Michigan.

  • Penn State’s Ace Baldwin Jr., Purdue’s Zach Edey, and Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi were three of the 15 players named to the Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year Watchlist, announced on Thursday. The group will be whittled down to 10 national semifinalists on March 12, with finalists announced on March 20. The winner will be announced on April 7.

Recent Game Recaps

Rutgers 56, Maryland 53

Jeremiah Williams’ lay-up with 34 seconds to play proved to be the difference, as Rutgers held on for a 56-53 win at Maryland. The Terrapins trailed 52-43 win just under three minutes to play and pulled to within 52-51 after a pair of Jahmir Young free throws with 1:05 to play. Williams’ bucket pushed the Scarlet Knights’ lead back to three, as did Mawot Mag’s two free throws with 17 ticks on the clock. Maryland got one final look at a potential game-tying three pointer, but Donta Scott’s attempt missed the mark. Mag led Rutgers with 15 points, while Williams tallied 14 in the win. Julian Reese paced the Terps with 19 points, three more than Young. Both posted double-doubles in the losing effort, corralling 12 rebounds each.

Indiana 76, Ohio State 73

The Hoosiers outscored Ohio State by 16 points in the second half and overcame an 18-point second half deficit to score a 76-73 victory. Anthony Leal hit his only basket of the game, the game-winning three pointer with just 22 seconds to play, before his offensive rebound and free throws with 2.9 seconds left sealed the win for the Hoosiers. Malik Reneau led all scorers with 26 points to go with 14 rebounds, while Trey Galloway added 25 points, six rebounds and four assists for Indiana. Jamison Battle and Roddy Gayle Jr. scored 19 points each for the Buckeyes. Battle went 10-10 from the free throw line, improving to 25-25 from the charity stripe in conference play.

Minnesota 59, Michigan State 53

The Gophers erased a nine-point deficit to earn their third consecutive Big Ten Conference victory, topping Michigan State 59-53. Trailing 45-36 with 13:16 to play, Minnesota went on a 10-0 run, as Pharrel Payne’s free throw with just under eight minutes to play put the home team ahead. After five lead changes over the next five minutes, Elijah Hawkins found Dawson Garcia for a three with 1:27 to play, putting the Gophers ahead 55-52, a lead they would not relinquish. Cam Christie led the Gophers with 19 points, including 14 in the second half, while Garcia finished with 10 points.  Michigan State’s Tyson Walker earned game-high honors with 20 points, while Jaden Akins added 16.

Michigan 72, Wisconsin 68

Four Wolverines scored in double figures, as Michigan defeated Wisconsin 72-68, snapping its five-game losing streak. Trailing 48-44 after an AJ Storr jumper with 13:47 to play, the Wolverines went on a 19-6 run, as Will Tschetter’s three pointer put Michigan ahead 63-54 with 5:45 to play. The Badgers pulled within two points in the game’s final seconds, but Dug McDaniel hit 3-4 from the free throw line in the game’s final 19 seconds to seal the victory. McDaniel led the Wolverines with 16 points, while Reed and Terrance Williams II added 12 and 10 points, respectively, and secured six rebounds each. Tschetter added 11 points off the bench in the win. Storr led all scorers with 20 points, three more than Chucky Hepburn.

Northwestern 80, Nebraska 68

The Wildcats rebounded from back-to-back overtime losses to score an 80-68 win over Nebraska inside Welsh-Ryan Arena. Northwestern used an 8-0 run midway through the first half to build a 30-15 lead and a 47-31 halftime advantage. Boo Buie led the Wildcats with 22 points. Ryan Langborg paired 18 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, while Brook Barnhizer notched 14 points and 10 boards. Four Huskers scored in double figures, led by senior Juwan Gary’s 15 points. Brice Williams paired 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Keisei Tominaga and Jamarques Lawrence combined for 23 points.

Penn State 89, Iowa 79

The Nittany Lions scored their third consecutive Big Ten Conference win on Thursday, topping the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes 89-79. In a back-and-forth game that saw six ties and seven lead changes, Penn State’s Ace Baldwin Jr. hit a jumper with 3:48 to play to break a 71-71 tie, giving the Nittany Lions the lead for good. The senior scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in the final 3:48 to help seal the win. Baldwin added six assists and four steals, while Qudus Wahab paired 14 points and seven rebounds. Iowa's Ben Krikke matched Baldwin with 22 points on 8-10 shooting, while Tony Perkins and Patrick McCaffery added 11 points each.